AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Migrants stranded in Colombia for two months in an "inhumane and unbearable" situation

Tuesday, 5 July 2016 refugees   politics   poverty  

Turbo (Agenzia Fides) - "Inhuman and unbearable": this is how the situation of migrants who are in the zone of Uraba (Antioquia, Colombia) has been described in the letter to President Juan Manuel Santos, signed by His Exc. Mgr. Hugo Alberto Torres Marín, Bishop of Apartado, and all the clergy of the region. The migrants, according to a letter sent to Fides, ask for immediate solutions from the national government.
According to data from the local press, for about two months about 120 people from Cuba and other countries of Central America have been living in a warehouse and other temporary premises in the region of Uraba, following the closure of the border with Panama, from where they intended to enter the United States.
"It is the government’s duty, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to ensure the integrity and dignity of every foreigner who arrives on the territory", says the letter, which calls for "urgent action" to find a solution to this problem and prevent immigrants "to be subjected to all sorts of abuses by those who take advantage of their vulnerability". "The Catholic Church of Uraba offers its availability to mediate for immigrants" the letter concludes.
According to the "Defensor del Pueblo" office in Uraba, this situation can trigger a short-term public health problem, since immigrants do not receive medical care, and many have their families with them, including small children and pregnant women. Last Sunday, reports the local press, the police captured 14 people allegedly linked to the trafficking of migrants in the area. This illegal organization seems to take people until Turbo, Antioquia, and then to the United States. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 05/07/2016)